Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Help with ID for bell please

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    • #10591

      I found this bell about 6 inches deep in a field in England last year. Is anyone able to give me any information on it?

      The bell measures 3.5″ diameter and is 4″ in height. It is made of Copper alloy, probably brass.

      It has the wording MATHEVS – MARCVS – LVCAS – JOHANNES

      There are animal symbols below each name:

      Mathevs – Lamb?
      Marcvs – Lion?
      Lvcas – Man?
      Johannes – Bird (Eagle?)

    • #13103

      The bell that is shown and described is commonly known as the “Evangelist Bell” and has the for 4 Gospel Writers and their symbols, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. These bells have been made as souvenir bells at European religious sites for over 50 years. Some have great details and open grill work and some have poor detail and have prominent mold marks. Most have the open loop handle, but some have been cast with a figure of Jesus as a handle.

      Harry Long, MD

    • #13104

      You mean it’s a recent made? Pity, here I was getting all excited for him finding an ancient Roman relic.

    • #13105

      Thanks for your replies.

      Is it possible to date the bell?

      Does the style of the lettering help date it?

    • #13106

      It is generally believed that these were cast in Belgium and sold to tourists and have been in near continuous production for the past 100 years. I’ve seen modern versions of this bell in gift shops in Brussels as recently as 20 years ago. The casting style and clarity of the markings can help date your bell.
      HJLong, MD

    • #13107

      How much does it weigh?

      Does it still have the clapper?

      Could you post a picture of the inside?

      Looking closely at the picture, it appears that your bell might be chiseled rather than cast—look especially at the lines above the animal’s back.

      It’s hard to tell from a picture, but if it’s chiseled, it’s one-of-a-kind, rather than mass-produced, and probably an older one rather than one of the more recent tourist varieties. It’s also of slightly different design than some of the newer tourist bells.

      If you post the weight, that will help too, since more recent bells tend to be thinner and lighter, the older ones, heavier.

    • #13102
      Joan Elliott

      Hello Alan

      I am assuming (one should never assume, but here goes 😀 ) that because you found the bell in England and also because of your username that you are living in the UK.

      Did you know that we have a small but enthusiastic group of bell enthusiasts in British Isles? We meet twice a year at different locations to see, hear, ring, talk, in fact any aspect of bells is covered. Our next meeting will be in April 2009 when we are hoping to visit Scarborough Diving Club to see the 50 bells which they have rescued from sunken ships, and possibly visit York Minster to see the new carillon.

      If you do live in the UK, and would like to join us, please send me an email and I’ll keep you updated.

      Happy hunting

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